243: Used Bikes, Big Impact, with Calla Martin and Mary McKeown, Express Bike Shop
Express Bike Shop is a learning lab where young people develop the habits and skills for work.
Today might be a good day to ride a bike. In fact, almost any day is a great day to ride a bike. Biking can be fun. It’s great exercise. It reduces your carbon footprint. The environmental impact of manufacturing and maintaining a bike is far below that of a car. The only thing better than a new bike is a used bike. And the only thing better than a used bike is a used bike that provides jobs for young people with a barrier to employment.
Express Bike Shop in Saint Paul, Minnesota is a full-service repair shop that also sells refurbished bikes. Profits from bike sales and repair go towards a youth apprenticeship program. Express Bike Shop is a social enterprise owned by a nonprofit organization, Keystone Community Services.
Bicycles are considered hard to recycle items. When you donate a bike to the Express Bike Shop, they either strip the bike down for parts or build the bike up for resell. Since their inception, Express Bike Shop has collected and refurbished more than 20,000 bicycles. They sell between 500 and 600 bikes per years. Components that cannot be reused are recycled. Each year they recycle between 15 and 18 tons of metal and three tons of rubber.
100% of the revenue from the bike shop is reinvested in youth employment programs. The shop serves as a learning lab where young people learn about work and business. They believe that early work experience is the best predictor of later work experience. They have a saying at Express Bike Shop. “The best work readiness program is a job.
Social Entrepreneurship Resources:
- Express Bike Shop: http://exbike.com/
- Express Bike Shop on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ExpressBikeShop/
- Express Bike Shop on Twitter: https://twitter.com/expressbikeshop
- Express Bike Shop on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/expressbikeshop/
- Keystone Community Services: https://keystoneservices.org/
- Book: Crazy Good Advice: 10 Lessons Learned from 150 Leading Social Entrepreneurs: https://tonyloyd.com/book